ALL EYES ON FOUR TIME WORLD CHAMP AND CURRENT NUMBER ONE

With the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic well under way, the battle is on between current number one Sally Fitzgibbons and four time world champion Stephanie Gilmore with massive surf inspiring elevated performances from the world’s best.

With the official launch for the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic yesterday at Dee Why Beach, all eyes were on Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore. And with perfect 4.6m waves and dream swell, the competition has started to heat up as the girls fight it out to win the fourth event on the ASP World Tour.

Fitzgibbons has jumped to number one on the ASP Women’s World Tour leader board with a win at the Rip Curl Pro at Bell’s Beach last month and the Suburu Pro in New Zealand last week. With a win at this week’s Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, she will most likely throw Gilmore off her reign of four straight world championship titles.

However, Fitzgibbons had another surfer to look out for in eighteen year old Nikki Van Djik, handpicked by Layne to take the eighteenth spot in the competition due to lack of trial sponsor. Van Djik won over Fitzgibbons in Round One posting a two-wave score of 14.50 with an incredible score of 8.5 on one wave. While Van Djik progressed straight to round three, Fitzgibbons, with flowing lines and fantastic technique, dominated her third round yesterday.

Focus has not shifted from Gilmore just yet, with the women’s surfing sensation saying earlier at the press conference not to rule her out. “We all come on tour to win. I love being world champion and I miss being in number one spot.”

The quarter finals will see Fitzgibbons, Gilmore, number two Carissa Moore and Brazilian Silvana Lima go head to head today.

Not to miss out on the fun and action, Layne Beachley has organised the Sydney.com Celebrity Challenge where 12 celebrities and four surfers will battle it out in a volleyball and surfing tag team challenge to win $5,000 for their team’s selected charity. Everyone is welcome to cheer on celebrity teams at 1pm on Saturday 7 May at Dee Why Beach.

The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic will see the world’s top 17 female surfers and one wildcard battle it out in the sixth annual Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic from May 3rd to 8th, 2011 on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Live information is updated regularly at www.beachleyclassic.com.au/live or visit www.aspworldtour.com.au.